International Sculpture Center
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Sculpture cover

June 2017
Vol. 36 No. 4

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center

This selection of shows has been curated by Sculpture magazine editorial staff and includes just a few of the great shows around the world.

500 Capp Street Foundation - San Francisco: Patricia L Boyd
Through July 16, 2017
Patricia L Boyd, La Peuple! Boyd explores the everyday spaces in which we work and live, making particular reference to the urban rape perpetrated by real estate profiteers. In "Metrics" at Modern Art Oxford (2014), for instance, sculptures made from the pockmarked and paintstained floor of her studio (in a prime central London building temporarily slumming as art spaces) mocked the fashionable "up-cycled" aesthetic of chic cafés and offices in the surrounding area. Greed, exploitation, personal promotion, and bourgeois respectability all find their comeuppance in her work, countered by the deviant mark-making of the artist, which inscribes a disobedient, counter-politics of display. Her new installation continues this project with large-scale, camera-less photograms recorded by street light that map the traces of discontent left on the façades of buildings. An ode to society's displaced critics and their unwanted commentary, this approach, which Boyd first developed in San Francisco, aptly skewers the pretensions while tallying the gains and losses of a now-"desirable" and unaffordable city that has forgotten its roots in anti-establishment hedon - ism and protest.

Web site

Patricia L Boyd, La Peuple!.
Chrysler Museum of Art - Norfolk, Virginia: Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
Through July 30, 2017
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian,
Third Family—Heptagon. For Farmanfarmaian, "everything is in geometry." Though the native Iranian spent her formative years in New York (1945–57), mixing with Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, and Andy Warhol, the inspiration for her best-known works came from a different source—the high-domed crystalline hall of the Shah Cheragh mosque in Shiraz. She later compared that transformative, 1966 encounter to "walking into a diamond at the center of the sun." In Iran, she was a pioneer, studying traditional crafts, coffee house paintings, and reverseglass painting. Perhaps the only contemporary artist working in mirror mosaic, she established an atelier reminiscent of the collaborative Persian kitabkhana, in which designs circulated among craftsmen from different disciplines; her drawings (many included here) have informed works in a variety of media, from textiles to sculptural commissions, to interior design. After the 1979 revolution and a 26-year exile in New York, she re-established her Tehran workshop. "Infinite Possibility," which includes works from the last 40 years, features plaster and mirror reliefs, large-scale mirror sculptures grouped into "geometric families," works on paper, and recent kinetic sculptures. Though Farmanfarmaian denies any connection to symbolic systems of sacred geometry, her animate, pulsating forms convey a similar, idealized vision of a perfected universe, transcending visual and spatial experience.

Web site

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Third Family—Heptagon.
Copenhagen Contemporary - Copenhagen: Anselm Kiefer
Through August 6, 2017
Anselm Kiefer, For Louis-Ferdinand
Céline: Voyage au bout de la
nuit. Dense and evocative in terms of materials (paint, organic matter, clay, ash, lead, and found objects) as well as sources (alchemical treatises, mythology, Jewish mysticism, and modern history), Kiefer's work offers an almost endless palimpsest of discoveries and possible interpretations. By bringing the violence of the world into art, he attempts to reach "the very center of the truth," a point of purgation and potential renewal. The truth reached in For Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit, however, denies redemption. Resigned, disgusted, unremittingly bleak, it condemns a world hell-bent on ignoring the lessons of a not-sodistant past, blithely swallowing the lies of strong men as panacea for every perceived ill. This monumental installation combines four lead airplane sculptures, which Kiefer has been making since the late '80s, with four massive painted panels referitinerary encing his travels in the Gobi Desert in 1993 and a scene from Ingeborg Bachmann's Book of Franza (1955) in which the title character seeks solace in the barrenness of the desert. Within this battered, war-weary atmosphere—redolent of Céline's nihilistic pessimism in the face of human nature, institutions, and society— the multiplicity of references and diversity of materials come together to twist the tenets of Emanationism into an unnerving spatial vortex—life, death, and rebirth linked into an eternally vicious circle.

Web site

Anselm Kiefer, For Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit.

Deutsche Bank KunstHalle - Berlin: Kemang Wa Lehulere
Through June 18, 2017
Kemang Wa Lehulere, My
Apologies to Time. Wa Lehulere, Deutsche Bank's Artist of the Year, represents a new generation of South African artists who work across genres and media to develop new perspectives and narrative modes, as well as new forms of political critique. His installations, sculptures, and paintings, music, performances, and actions focus on the repressed history of his home country, unearthing submerged memories and investing them with fragile beauty and poetry. Reconstructions of things lost or destroyed, his assemblages make destruction visible. "Bird Song" features new works inspired by the paintings of Gladys Mgudlandlu (1917–79), one of the first black artists to exhibit in South Africa, whose work had been largely forgotten until Wa Lehulere discovered one of her murals in a private house in the Cape Town township where he grew up. Symbols of freedom yearned for, fought for, and suppressed, his birds take on a variety of guises, from a stuffed specimen inhabiting post-industrial housing cobbled together from dismantled school desks to a Broken Wing made of crutches, false teeth, and bibles. Autobiographical avatars, they negotiate their way through ideological instruments of control and conditioning inscribed not only in thought, but also in the body, exemplifying resistance and the struggle for self-determination and equality.

Web site www.deutsche-bankkunsthalle. de>

Kemang Wa Lehulere, My Apologies to Time.
HangarBicocca - Milan: Miroslaw Balka
Through July 30, 2017
Miroslaw Balka, Cruzamento. One of today's most important sculptors, Balka translates the language of Minimalism and conceptualism into breathtaking scenarios of subjective narrative. In the mid-1980s, he graduated from the conservative Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw with a provocative body of work referencing Solidarity's turbulent struggles against Soviet repression and followed it with a number of related figurative sculptures. Although he soon replaced representation with an abstract iconography related to the body through measurement and proportion, his abiding concerns have remained constant, and he con - tinues to explore how history shapes and governs the present. "CROSS - OVER/S," his first retrospective in Italy, brings together almost two dozen sculptures, installations, and videos from the 1990s to the present in an immersive exhibition tied together by physical, symbolic, and temporal intersections. As always, the viewer's experience—both visual and physical—forms the center point of a dynamic that twists interpretative frames into unfamiliar and disturbing shapes. In this orchestrated journey through darkness and light, old and new works alike demonstrate Balka's belief that history can neither be avoided nor securely grasped— an ambiguous stance that leads to fraught and unsettling questions about the body and its limitations, memory, and the space between looking and knowing.

Web site

Miroslaw Balka, Cruzamento.
Institute of Modern Art - Brisbane, Australia: Céline Condorelli
Through July 15, 2017
Céline Condorelli, À Bras Le Corps—
with Philodendron (to Amalia Pica). Condorelli focuses her attention on the emotional, social, and physical structures that support human action. Mostly taken for granted and relegated to the status of backdrop, furniture, décor, doors, and windows can suggest multiple possibilities of use, subtly inflecting the behavior and interactions of the people who activate them. Sculptural structures for resting and talking become sites of performance. A stepladder doubles as a desk and viewing platform; a bench becomes an artificial habitat for plants. Doors are removed and windows opened to adjust relations between interior and exterior, public and private, comfort and discomfort. A simple curtain, a recurrent motif in Condorelli's work, epitomizes what she calls "Intentional Objects in Accidentally Specific Appearances." This new body of work, commissioned in conjunction with the 11th Gwangju Biennial, treats the galleries as case-studies in exhibition/human relationship-making, creating a range of discreetly altered situations in which everything from climate to furnishings and infrastructure serves to question how our habits shape our environment and how that environment in turn shapes us.

Web site

Céline Condorelli, À Bras Le Corps— with Philodendron (to Amalia Pica).
Mass MoCA - North Adams, Massachusetts:
Nick Cave
Through September 3, 2017
Nick Cave, Until. Until deploys what Cave calls the "bling bling sparkle sparkle" factor— an utterly mind-blowing profusion of visual pyrotechnics—to conjure a fairy-tale realm in which glittering crystalline beauty masks lurking menace. The sensory overload disguises and tempers what would otherwise be unbearable, a descent into a psychological maelstrom as dark and violent as the primeval fears dredged up by the Brothers Grimm and later twisted into contemporary nightmare by Angela Car - ter. Cave holds out a vision of heaven before plunging into hell, dragging viewers into the "belly of the ‘Soundsuits.'" It's easy to forget that his glamorous and madcap costumes began with a brutal, empowering suit of twigs made in response to the beating of Rodney King. Until penetrates that protective armor to probe the pain within, the wounds inflicted on the black body and psyche by gun violence and racism, by a system that perverts its principles to assume "guilty until proven innocent." It's no wonder that Cave initiated this project with a pointed question: Is there racism in heaven? He's given alternately wary, angry, and resigned answers in recent sculptures, particularly in the suite of assemblages in "Made By Whites For Whites" (2014), which bind elevation to subjugation and set limits on freedom, but Until is more optimistic. Cave has stripped himself bare in the hope that others will follow. More than just a sculpture, this stage set, with its ongoing program of responsive events, is intended as a catalyst and instigator. As Cave told the New York Times, "It's about being able to face one another. We can no longer hide behind the surface." Until we talk, until we act, until we acknowledge common ground, heaven will remain shackled to hell.

Web site

Nick Cave, Until.
Metropolitan Museum of Art— Breuer - New York: Lygia Pape
Through May 7, 2017
Lygia Pape, Divisor. A critical figure in the development of Brazilian modern art, Pape infused life and purpose into geometric abstraction by rejecting rules in favor of experimentation and process. Together with Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, she transformed the nature of the art object by turning to the space around it—the space of the viewer, an active zone ripe for interaction. An art of the body, time, and space, Neoconcretism was premised on the viewer as active participant. Just as it denied any separation between art and viewer, it eschewed all boundaries of style, medium, and genre to speak a cross-disciplinary, accessible, and yet disruptive language. Elements of popular culture and vernacular architecture celebrated life while subtly critiquing the repressive dictatorship that followed Brazil's period of modernization. "A Multitude of Forms," the first U.S. exhibition devoted to Pape's work, covers the full range of her unclassifiable, five-decade-long career, from experimental books of the 1950s and early '60s to performance and participatory works, such as the living sculpture Divisor (1968), to her documentation of urban life and collaborations with the influential filmmakers of Cinema Novo. The late sculptures and installations, including Amazoninos (1989–92) and Ttéia, attest to an unflagging creative force capable of conjoining art and life in ways that invigorated both.

Web site

Lygia Pape, Divisor.
Museum of Contemporary Art - Chicago:
Chris Bradley
Through July 2, 2017
Chris Bradley, Stack (Ice Bags, Cans, and Banana). A consummate trickster, Bradley brings the most banal bits of life— thumbtacks, cardboard shields, key rings, junk food, paint cans, and banana peels—into the rarefied space of the gallery. But this seeming apotheosis of the ordinary is anything but. The empty, stained pizza boxes inscribed with "Grease Faces," for instance, are made from aluminum and cast bronze (as are the thumbtacks), the bags of never-melting ice cubes from glass. More than virtuoso trompe l'oeil, these works take a cock-eyed look at the tropes of masculinity. Nostalgic, fond, and reproving, they celebrate and undermine the cult of the man-child, with its pretend shoot-outs, frat-boy parties, and buddy-dom hijinks in the man-cave, while juxtaposing it with more substantive, if equally idealized models. Bradley's first museum show features a range of tongue-in-cheek, unresolved assemblages, including the key rings laden with tiny replicas of classical male nudes that fellow Chicago artist Matt Morris describes as grouping "something authentic with something partial, something imitative, and something wished for."

Web site

Chris Bradley, Stack (Ice Bags, Cans, and Banana).
Neuberger Museum of Art - Purchase, New York: Fred Wilson
Through July 30, 2017
Fred Wilson, No Way But This. Wilson set the course of his career (and gained critical acclaim) with his seminal 1993 exhibition "Mining the Museum" at the Maryland Historical Society. The title encapsulates the strategy that he has pursued ever since: excavating institutional collections to extract erased presences, especially those related to race, gender, and class; planting emotionally explosive historical material within decorous displays that hide more than they reveal; and finding reflections of himself within the museum (as in "making it mine"). As visceral/ emotional as they are intellectual/ conceptual, Wilson's uncompromising juxtapositions and rigorous rearrangements, whether in a single object or across a museum, reverberate with the intertwined harmonies and dissonances of truth, a complex orchestration denied by the catchy jingles of history-as-fable. Suggestive rather than didactic, provocative rather than moralizing, Wilson doesn't preach; he illuminates. This multipart survey brings the three strands of his practice together for the first time. An exhibition of studio works, a recontextualization of 39 objects from the Neuberger and SUNY Purchase collections, and a selection of personal "collection projects" all demonstrate an unfailing ability to clear away the cobwebs of entrenched tradition and received ideas. The retrospective moves from Old Salem: A Family of Strangers (1995), a portrait gallery of misfit (non-Caucasian) dolls held in storage at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, through Snuff (2003), an examination of Africans in Venice created for the 50th Biennale, and chandeliers made in collaboration with master Murano glass artists, to new black glass "drips" that muse on shape, color, and their various meanings. As Wilson says, not without irony, "With black, I can't hide behind the color."

Web site

Fred Wilson, No Way But This.
Park Avenue Armory - New York: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, and Ai Weiwei
Through August 6, 2017
Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de
Meuron, Hansel and Gretel (mock-up). For Ai, the politics of the built environment is about more than form. Hansel and Gretel, his new collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron (after the Bird's Nest for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion), questions how the age of surveillance is changing the nature of public space. Taking the threat to freedom and privacy implied in his carved marble cameras to an active level, this massive, multi-layered environment drops viewers into the center of a world in which their every movement is recorded, broadcast, and fed back. It sounds like an exciting virtual reality game—evade the cameras, win a prize—but in real life, such constant spying—rationalized as benign protection from terrorists and criminals— captures everyone and everything that crosses its path; its masters have the power to direct that indiscriminate gaze against any "enemy," as Ai well knows, having lived with 24/7 monitoring of his Beijing studio. Even democracies are not immune to such abuses, as demonstrated by recent revelations about the FBI. Escape is an illusion, with severe consequences for freedom of expression. Spontaneity and creativity die when you always have to be on your best behavior, and selfcensorship becomes the new norm. Under the all-seeing eyes of drones and infrared cameras, the challenge here is not to purposely leave a trail so you don't get lost, but to try to hide your location, your actions, and perhaps your very being.

Web site

Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron, Hansel and Gretel (mock-up).
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - New York: Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin
Through August 31, 2017
Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin,
…circle through New York logo. On March 1, after more than a year of planning and research, Clayton and Rubin launched a six-month program to conjoin New York communities separated by cultural, economic, and geographic boundaries. Drawing an imaginary circle through Harlem, the South Bronx, Queens, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, they invited a pet store, a high school, a TV network, an academic research institute, the Guggenheim, and a church to participate in a system of social and material exchange. Every month, exhibitions and events at each location move one step around the fivemile- wide circle, generating new collaborations and experiences. In the first stage, drama students from the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts broadcast live performances from the Punjabi TV network Jus Broadcasting, while a 3,400-year-old "Hurrian Hymn" inscribed on a clay tablet (considered the oldest song in the world) traveled from the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World to the Guggenheim, where staff members hummed it in the galleries. In April, the hymn moved to St. Philip's Church in Harlem, where it was sung during services and drummed by a community arts group; in May, a staff bird trainer/DJ at Pet Resources in the South Bronx remixed the song with pets and humans in mind. This month, the call to action against social injustice enacted by the congregation of St. Philip's is at the Institute; a Punjabi TV show is being filmed and produced at Pet Resources; and Felix Gonzalez-Torres's Untitled (Public Opinion) from the Guggenheim is offering thought-provoking sweets for the taking at Jus Broadcasting. Through this choreography, …circle through New York hopes to engage participants in a process of learning about and entering into other value systems. Such moments of mutual cooperation may be invisible to some, but others, at least, will find them exceptional and profound.

Web site;

Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin, …circle through New York logo.

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